I’ve been a little tardy vis a vis the Inkpot (Did I say that last time?), so will make up some ground here.
I just got Garrison Keillor’s newest anthology of poetry called GOOD POEMS. All of them were heard on “The Writer’s Almanac” so you know they’re easy to listen to and easy to read. There are way too many cool poems to quote, but here are some smidgens from the Contributors’ Page where every poet gets to write a little something about poetry:
Edward Field: “Poetry is no different from newspapers. What you think about is what you should write about.”
Rodney Jones: “I’m against all the games that might be played in a poem like “guess what’s behind my back.’ Everything I do in a poem can be seen.”
Ted Kooser: “I revise toward clarity and away from difficulty, wanting the poem to appear to be written with ease.”
Linda Pastan: “I stopped writing for almost ten years and I was very unhappy. Finally my husband said he was tired of hearing what a good poet I might have been if I hadn’t gotten married.”
There are more, but those are only the notes-in-the-back! Can you even imagine how good the poems are?
P.S. And, yes — I’m in there, too.
Ron, You have been missed! Your input stimulates, inspires and your wry humor is a treat. Now I have to purchase Keillor's latest collection. (already own the other two)
Stephen Sondheim writes in the Preface to his book about musical lyrics: "There are three principles necessary for a lyric writer…
Content Dictates Form
Less is More
God is in the Details
all in the service of
He could be included in the notes in the back of GOOD POEMS.
And the full title of Sondheim's book:
Finishing the Hat-Collected Lyrics (1954-1981) with Attendant Comments, Principles, Heresies, Grudges, Whines and Anecdotes
Yet *another* book to buy! And here I thought being done with this MFA I'd have only student loans to worry about.
Can't wait to get it!
I came home from this residency and the first thing I did was to write my first (and maybe only) sestina. I did it during a beach holiday with my kids and friends–over four days. One of the words was GRACIE. She's my old puppy who was now almost 15. She'd lived with my friend for the last 9 years (after biting my 2 year old; his fault, not hers!) The week after we came back, Gracie died. And now I have this lovely poem to remind me of her last vacation. Thanks, Ron! You made me want to write poems, man!